By Kate Snyder
One of the country’s leading life science developers has expanded its holdings in South San Francisco where, for years, it has been building a massive life science campus along Oyster Point Blvd. and Gateway Blvd. According to property records, an entity affiliated with BioMed recently bought an 87,991 square foot industrial building less than a mile from BioMed’s Gateway of the Pacific project for $80 million, or approximately $909 per square foot. The seller was listed as a family trust affiliated with members of the Varnhagen family.
Built in 1960, according to public records, the building is located on a six-acre site at 513 Eccles Ave. According to Google Maps, the site is the location of Avis Rent A Car, and nearby businesses include AbbVie, South San Francisco, a pharmaceutical company; DJK Imports, a wine wholesaler and importer; and Mountain View Staging, an event management company.
Despite the property’s proximity to BioMed’s Gateway of the Pacific project, any plans to develop the new site are unclear. The Gateway of the Pacific is a multi-phase, 1.5 million-square-foot life science lab campus. The first three phases have been completed and mostly leased, according to previous reporting from The Registry, which leaves the last two phases still in various stages of development. Most of the property is also adjacent to a railway line, and one portion of the development, Phase 5, sits on the other side of the rail spur from the rest of the campus. The site was approved for redevelopment as part of an adopted master plan by the city in 2013, and BioMed began the construction of its campus in 2017.
Earlier this year, the firm received approval from South San Francisco’s Planning Commission to expand the project by transferring development rights from one portion of the parcel and adding additional floors to one building as well as to add floors to the adjacent parking structure.
According to prior reporting by The Registry, nearly all of Phase 1, around 510,000 square feet, has been leased to AbbVie. Phase 2, which is around 440,000 square feet, has been leased to Amgen, and earlier this year the firm was in negotiations to lease the remaining space.
BioMed Realty is a Blackstone portfolio company based in San Diego. The company owns and operates 15.5 million square feet of life science real estate throughout the United States and United Kingdom, including Boston/Cambridge, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Cambridge, U.K., according to the firm’s website.